RMS TITANIC HIT ICEBERG 100 YEARS AGO TODAY: EARLY THIS MORNING THE MS BALMORAL TITANIC MEMORIAL CRUISE PASSENGERS HELD A SERVICE OF PRAYERS AND SILENCE AT THE SPOT WHERE THE RMS TITANIC SANK…

RMS TITANIC HIT ICEBERG 100 YEARS AGO TODAY: EARLY THIS MORNING THE MS BALMORAL TITANIC MEMORIAL CRUISE PASSENGERS HELD A SERVICE OF PRAYERS AND SILENCE AT THE SPOT WHERE THE RMS TITANIC SANK…

Last footage of the RMS Titanic…

Cruise and Social History: Early this morning the MS BALMORAL memorial cruise passengers held a service of prayers and silence at the spot where the RMS Titanic sank 100 years ago today.

ABOARD MS BALMORAL – Cruise ship passengers and crew said prayers Sunday at the spot in the North Atlantic where the Titanic sank 100 years ago with the loss of more than 1,500 lives, while the city that built the vessel looked back with a mixture of sorrow and pride.

Exactly a century after the ship went down, passengers lined the decks of MS Balmoral, which has been retracing the route of the doomed voyage. After a moment of silence, three floral wreaths were cast onto the waves as the ship’s whistle sounded in the dark.

Passengers participated in a memorial service marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic aboard the MS Balmoral Titanic cruise ship at the wreck site in the North Atlantic Ocean. Cruise ship passengers and crew offered prayers.

Jane Allen from Devon in southwest England, whose great-uncle perished on the Titanic, said the moment vividly reminded her of the horror of the disaster.

Passengers aboard the MS Balmoral Titanic participated in a memorial service marking the tragedy.

“All you could hear was the swell splashing against the side of the ship. You could see the white breakers stretching out to sea,” she told the BBC. “You are in the middle of nowhere. And then you look down over the side of the ship and you realize that every man and every woman who didn’t make it into a lifeboat had to make that decision, of when to jump or stay on the ship as the lights went out.”

Another cruise ship, Journey, which has traveled from New York, also held a service at the site of the disaster, 400 miles (640 kilometers) off the coast of Newfoundland.

The Titanic, the world’s largest and most luxurious ocean liner, was traveling from England to New York when it struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912. It sank less than three hours later, with the loss of all but 700 of the 2,208 passengers and crew.

A century on, events around the globe are marking a tragedy that retains its grip on the world’s imagination.

In Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the Titanic was built, a memorial monument was unveiled Sunday at a ceremony attended by local dignitaries, relatives of the dead and explorer Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the Titanic on the ocean floor in 1985.

A brass band played as the granite plinth bearing bronze plaques was uncovered beside Belfast City Hall. Officials say it is the first Titanic memorial to list all victims alphabetically, with no distinction between passengers and crew members, or between first-, second- and third-class travelers.

“We remember all those who perished and whose names are herein inscribed — men, women and children who loved and we loved, their loss still poignantly felt by their descendants,” the Rev. Ian Gilpin told the crowd.

After a minute’s silence, a choir sang “Nearer My God To Thee” — the hymn Titanic’s band is reported to have played as the ship went down.
Belfast spent decades scarred by its link to the disaster, but has come to take pride in the feats of engineering and industry involved in building the ship. Last month, a gleaming new visitor attraction, Titanic Belfast, opened on the site of the shipyard where the doomed vessel was built.
“The focus of the world is on Belfast and we are doing her proud,” said Una Reilly, chair of the Belfast Titanic Society. “We are all proud of this ship. What happened was a disaster; she was not.”

On Saturday, thousands attended a memorial concert in Belfast featuring performances by Bryan Ferry and soul singer Joss Stone. At St. Anne’s Cathedral in the city, a performance of composer Philip Hammond’s “The Requiem for the Lost Souls of the Titanic” was followed by a torch-lit procession to the Titanic memorial garden in the grounds of city hall.
The requiem — performed by male choristers dressed as ship’s crew and female performers in black — also included words by Belfast novelist Glenn Patterson, who imagined the victims reflecting on all they had missed in the last 100 years.

“We passed instead into myth, launched a library full of books, enough film to cross the Atlantic three times over, more conspiracy theories than Kennedy, 97 million web pages, a tourist industry, a requiem or two,” Patterson said. “We will live longer than every one of you.”

Remembrance ceremonies also were being held in the ship’s departure port of Southampton, southern England — home to hundreds of Titanic crew who perished — and in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where more than 100 victims of the tragedy are buried.

The most famous maritime disaster in history was being marked even in places without direct links to it.

Venues in Las Vegas, San Diego, Houston and Singapore are hosting Titanic exhibitions that include artifacts recovered from the site of the wreck. Among the items: bottles of perfume, porcelain dishes, and a 17-foot piece of hull.

Helen Edwards, one of 1,309 passengers on the Balmoral memorial cruise who have spent the past week steeped in the Titanic’s history and symbolism, said the story’s continuing appeal was due to its strong mixture of romance and tragedy, history and fate.

“(There are) all the factors that came together for the ship to be right there, then, to hit that iceberg. All the stories of the passengers who ended up on the ship,” said Edwards, a 62-year-old retiree from Silver Spring, Maryland. “It’s just a microcosm of social history, personal histories, nautical histories.

“Romance is an appropriate word right up until the time of the tragedy — the band playing, the clothes. And then there’s the tragedy.”
As the world paused to remember the victims, a U.S. official revealed that there may be human remains embedded in the ocean floor where Titanic came to rest.

James Delgado, director of maritime heritage at the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, said Saturday that one photograph taken during a 2004 expedition shows a coat and boots in the mud. He said the way the items are laid out makes a “compelling case” that it is where “someone has come to rest.”

Delgado released the full image this week to coincide with the disaster’s centenary. It was previously seen in a cropped version.

Background: On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic embarked on its maiden voyage, sailing from Southampton, England, to New York City. One of the largest and most luxurious passenger liners at the time, the Titanic was also considered by many to be unsinkable. On April 14, however, the ship struck an iceberg, and early the next day (April 15) it sank. Some 1,500 people perished. Because of the tragedy, the Titanic became perhaps the best-known ship in the world, capturing the public imagination and inspiring popular books and movies. After the 1985 discovery of its wreckage, interest in the famed liner only increased. Some 100 years after its sinking, the Titanic remains an enduring legend.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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